Homeless people have been under assault by authorities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and now one police officer has been captured on video pushing a seemingly indigent man down, then slapping him.
The officer has been put on paid leave after a video was uploaded on YouTube of the incident surfaced.
Police say the encounter happened at around 5:00 p.m. on Sunday when an officer went to arrest 58-year-old homeless man Bruce Laclair, CBS reports.
The officer is seen escorting Laclair out of the area, telling him he doesn’t belong there.
The officer then pushes Laclair to the ground.
The Miami Herald reports:
A Fort Lauderdale police officer was “relieved of duty with pay” Monday afternoon after a video surfaced on YouTube showing the officer pushing and slapping a homeless man at a Broward bus terminal, Fort Lauderdale police confirmed Monday night.
The video, posted by chitownchico87able, shows the officer — being identified by WSVN-7 as Victor Ramirez — throwing the man, identified by police as Bruce Laclair, to the ground….
“Relax. I am telling you right now what’s going to happen,” the officer said as Laclair sat on the ground. “I’m escorting you out right now. You are not going to go pee. You are not supposed to be here.”
The officer tells the man to get up and then he can be seen slapping him in the face.
Laclair falls over.
“I’m not [expletive] around with you. Don’t [expletive] touch me,” he said. “Put your hands behind your back.”
Laclair was charged with trespassing an unoccupied structure or conveyance.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said the officer is being investigated. They will reportedly hold a press conference today regarding the incident.
In November, a 90-year-old man and two Florida clergymen were cited for feeding the poor, then faced possible jail time.
If cops could stop roughing up homeless citizens, that’d be great. Some of them are vets who have fallen on hard times. Some of them just need a hand-up, instead of a slap in the face.
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